Saturday 21 April 2012

Another Reading Challenge: European

I just heard about this European Reading Challenge, and since I always finish Europe early in the Global Reading Challenge, I knew I had to sign up.

The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

What counts as "Europe"? For this challenge, we will use the list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.

Note: Technically, the United Kingdom is one country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  So one book from any one of these four should count as your one book for that one country. I'm not going to be a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules.

Here is the list, in alphabetical order: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.


Five Star (Deluxe Entourage): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

Four Star (Honeymooner): Read four qualifying books.

Three Star (Business Traveler): Read three qualifying books.

Two Star (Adventurer): Read two qualifying books.

One Star (Pensione Weekender): Read just one qualifying book.

Alternate Arrangements

Agritourisimo: For foodie readers – read a selected number (your choice) of food-related books written by European authors or about European food, cooking, restaurants, culinary traditions, farming, winemaking, etc. Again, each book must be by a different author and set in a different country.

Youth Hostel: For participants under 18 only – read a selected number of books (your choice), by European authors or set in a country of Europe. (Adults reading YA books still participate as adults, not in this sub-category).

Culture Vulture: For those obsessed with prize-winners – read a selected number of books (your choice) that won a major literary prize in its original country. Any of the following literary prizes would count, but there may be others: Anton Wildgans (Austria), Magnesia Litera (Czech Republic), Finlandia (Finland), Le Grand Prix du Roman (France), German Book Prize (Germany), Balint Balassi Memorial Sword (Hungary), Icelandic Literary Prize (Iceland), Bagutta (Italy), Batty Weber (Luxembourg), Norwegian Critics (Norway), NIKE (Poland), Camões (Portugal), Russian Booker (Russia), Prešeren (Slovakia), Premio Planeta de Novela (Spain), August (Sweden), Swiss Book Prize (Switzerland), Sedat Simavi (Turkey), Shevchenko National (Ukraine), Booker (United Kingdom).


So, I'm going to go for the Five Star, and count from the beginning of the year.

So so far, I have read the following books set in Europe (I'm not including children's books here) :

1. A Dublin Student Doctor (Ireland)
2. The Midwife of Venice (Italy)
3. I am Half-Sick of Shadows (UK)
4. Bad Boy (UK again) [Repeat country so doesn't count]
5. Trap for Cinderella (France)
6. Redbreast (Norway)
7. A Dirty Death (UK again) [Repeat country so doesn't count]
8. The Lucky Child (Greece)
9. The Englishman's Daughter (France again) [Repeat country so doesn't count]
10. The Wild Rose (UK again) [Repeat country so doesn't count]
11. Midnight in Austenland (UK again) [Repeat country so doesn't count]
12. An Altered Light (Denmark)

So taking out the repeat countries, I'm already at seven!


  1. Thanks for joining the European Reading Challenge!

    You've already met the 5-country goal. If you post reviews, you may even be in the lead for the Jet Setter Grand Prize! I'll go find your review links now.

    Rose City Reader

  2. Thanks! I'll definitely link my reviews and keep reading!

  3. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and for reviewing all your books! There is a Wrap Up page available now if you want to add a link to this post.

  4. Given that it is only November, I'm hoping to get a few more in before the January deadline. I've got a couple on my shelf for countries I haven't done yet, so hopefully I'll get to them.